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The significance of a nutrition diet during pregnancy 

A healthy nutrition diet during pregnancy is very important for every pregnant woman it is necessary to have a nutrition diet not only for you but also to cope with the demands of your growing baby in the womb.

Does the expecting mother eat for two?

Mother need not literally eat for two (adult two). The quantity need not be very high. (only 300kcal more food is enough). If the mother maintains a nutrition diet during pregnancy, it provides ample nourishment for the unborn baby due to effective bio-utilization.

The food she eats has an impact on her baby and the grandchild. The food taken by the mother during pregnancy not only influences the baby she is carrying but also her grandchild. We can understand when the mother is underfed during pregnancy (such as during famine), the baby has a low birth weight. This effect may even extend to the grandchild, highlighting the importance of a nutrition diet during pregnancy for the health of both current and future generations. Research shows even the grandchild is born with less weight.

Regarding the intake of food, we need to know two things. What to eat and how to eat

What to eat during pregnancy?

   The pregnancy diet ideally should be fresh, nutritious, easily digestible, and rich in protein, iron, minerals, and vitamins.

  • Preference must be given to including natural foods in the diet rather than processed foods
  • Processed food is easy for one to eat but difficult for the body to process. It has been established that the body absorbs more energy from natural sources of food. To best explain with an analogy, one can observe the difference in the health and growth of plants that are watered every day with tap or well water versus rainwater.
Pregnancy diet

The most important nutrients required per day during pregnancy are:

  1.   Iron – 30 to 60mg
  2.   Calcium – 1000mg
  3.   Protein – 60gm
  4.   Folic acid – 600-800 micrograms
  5.   Omega-3 fatty acid – 300mg

They have to be taken in the diet, apart from supplements. Let us see in detail

  1. IRON: Increases oxygen-carrying capacity in blood.

  Lack of Iron is called Anemia – It affects the mother and the baby. Anemia causes weakness, increases susceptibility to infections, decreases pain-bearing capacity decreases   lactation, and increases puerperal sepsis in the mother. Low birth weight, preterm birth in baby.

Iron is of two types: Heme iron and non-heme iron

Heme iron is available in Red meat, Egg, Fish

Non-Heme iron is available in

Vegetables - Green leafy vegetables, spinach, beans, peas, carrot, beetroot, tomato, potato, broccoli, lentils.

Fruits – Strawberry, Apple, Pear, Peach, Plum

Iron – boosting Fruits – Citrus, Melons, Guava.

Dry Fruits – Dates, Figs, Raisins.

Seeds – Almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds.

 Jaggery and using iron utensils for cooking. There are interesting studies that show the importance of enjoying food while eating, in improving health.


  1. CALCIUM: Helps in building the bones and teeth of the baby

             Sources: Milk – 300mg/cup

             Yogurt – 370mg/cup

             Cottage cheese – 138mg/cup

             Sesame seeds – 200mg/tablespoon

             Spinach – 250mg, Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli

             Orange – 60mg, Date – 15mg, Almond, Figs, Raisins.

             Absorption increased by vitamin D and magnesium

             Decreased by salt, coffee, alcohol, phytates (nuts and grains), and oxalates in spinach

       3.  PROTEIN: Building block of tissues

            Milk – 8gm/cup, Curd – 10gm/cup, Cheese – 14gm/cup

            Lentil 1 cup/15gms

            Beans 1 cup/18gms

            Nuts and seeds

            Egg – 6gm

            Chicken – 27gm (1/2 roasted chicken breast)

            Fish – 23gms/3 ounces

       4. FOLIC ACID:


             1) Neural tube defect

             2) Recurrent abortions

             3) Pre eclampsia

             4) Low birth weight

Sources: Lentils, Spinach and Orange

       5. OMEGA – 3 FATTY ACID – DHA 300mg

           Effect on the fetus:

             1) Brain and eye development

             2) Decreases prematurity and low birth weight

             3) Allergy and eczema

Effect on mother: Decreases pre-eclampsia and depression

Sources: Flaxseed, Walnut

Cold water fatty fish (Salmon, Sardine, COD, Halibut)

 Tips on How to Eat:

  •  Mothers must practice eating with awareness. Choose at least one meal a week to eat in silence, noticing the flavors, sensations, and aromas that nurture us.
  •  Eat meals in a peaceful and settled environment.
  •  Enjoy eating with friends and relatives.
  •  Chew soft food well, five to ten times, and dense food fifteen to twenty times before swallowing it. Sit quietly for a few minutes after finishing the meal. The mother who practices ‘Talking to the baby in the womb’ during pregnancy can tell the baby just before eating ‘I am eating for you, so you will be healthy and happy.’ This strengthens the mother-baby bonding. Experiments have proved that the baby in the womb is actually capable of enjoying the food the mother eats and can retain the taste preference even after birth.

Advantages of sitting on the floor while eating: It improves digestion, helps to reduce weight, improves posture, makes us more flexible, lubricates and keeps knee and hip joints healthy, relaxes the mind and calms the nerves, and strengthens the heart by improving circulation.

Don’ts while eating:

  • Don’t overeat; leave about a third of the stomach empty to aid digestion
  • Avoid eating when you are upset
  • While eating avoid watching television, reading books, messaging, talking over cell phone, etc.

In conclusion, for the good health of pregnant women, it's very important to have a healthy nutrition diet during pregnancy. Focusing on food that is highly nutritious and following a healthy eating lifestyle, can improve the health of pregnant mothers and their babies. Additionally, eating peacefully and avoiding unhealthy foods can further support a healthy pregnancy journey. Prioritizing nutrition during pregnancy can healthy future for both the current and future generations.

For more details, you can go through my book called “TALKING TO THE BABY IN THE WOMB – GARBHA VIDYA”. This book is available on the Amazon website in English, Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil languages.